Business Expanding

3 Simple Tips For Expanding Your Business Into A New Market

Lion Shirdan is a marketing advisor, creative director and the founder of UPRISE Management, a 360˚ marketing, branding and creative agency.

The Great Recession was a difficult time both economically and personally, for many of us. It’s hard not to immediately associate that period with failure and catastrophe. But downturns always present opportunities as well. And notably, many companies found opportunities during the Great Recession by expanding into new markets, disrupting the consumer landscape and ultimately finding enormous success.

These companies, including major corporations like Netflix, Amazon and Google, recognized that strategic expansion is critical to company growth and survival. Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007 and has since revolutionized the entertainment, media and production industries. Expanding beyond being just an internet search engine, Google bought Android in 2005, and three years later, the first Android-powered device was released. Meanwhile, Amazon recognized that e-books were part of the future of reading and developed the first Kindle in 2007.

Of course, these are billion-dollar companies—stories of exceptional success. Even so, their strategies can be applied at scale. But without extensive planning, companies attempting to diversify their product offerings and target new audiences can face formidable challenges that stunt growth and even cause financial strife. That’s why, at a time when I’m sure many businesses are considering how to shore up their foundations and continue growing, I am offering some tips to approach a new market.

Review Your Current Mission

Before taking any further steps, thoroughly review your brand’s current mission and business practices. What is the ethos of your brand? What are your core values and guiding principles? What is and isn’t working for your company in the present? Ultimately, this reflective process is an opportunity to assess whether expansion at this time is a smart business decision.

Analyzing your company’s mission is also paramount because it’s the central thread connecting where your brand is and where it wants to go. So aim to extend seamlessly into sectors that support and strengthen your mission rather than give your customers whiplash. And ensure that your mission is clear, well communicated, inspiring and ambitious until you make that move. Increasing your customer base, creating new products and growing your business are exciting prospects that can lead to abundant rewards, but you can’t redefine what your brand does if you don’t genuinely understand it.

Strategize For Your Brand

If your brand is well positioned to enter a new market, then it’s time to strategize and define goals for expansion. Returning to core values and existing business can help clarify which market(s) to target. A company that sells dish soap, for example, would likely find more success launching a suite of cleaning products than a luxury fashion line.

One challenge facing companies on the cusp of industry diversification is maintaining their unique brand identity. This is what sets you apart from competitors—what leaves a lasting impression in the minds of consumers and ultimately persuades them to use your services. We’ve found that organizing brand partnerships and collaborations—think GoPro and Red Bull and Uber and Spotify—can be an effective strategy for steadily transitioning into new markets. Yet the partnership alone won’t transform your identity. Rather, use it as a lever or as a steppingstone along the road to gradually evolve your brand.

Set Specific Goals

As I mentioned, there are many benefits to entering a new market; however, it can be overwhelming to work toward an organizational vision without isolating individual steps. Specifying incremental goals, metrics and key performance indicators makes it easier to evaluate your progress.

For example, though Netflix began producing its own media in 2013, that was likely not its guiding aim when it first introduced content streaming. Back in 2007, a more realistic goal for Netflix likely concerned converting existing users to streaming services and obtaining a larger library of digital offerings. By working toward those smaller goals, Netflix ultimately established itself as a successful distributor—and now, producer—in the entertainment space.

Penetrating a new market can be intimidating, rewarding and exciting all at once. Growth is seldom easy, whether personally, professionally or organizationally. It is, however, instrumental to long-term survival in our current landscape. More than survival, growth is what can realize the true potential of a given business. Imagine, for instance, that Amazon had remained just a marketplace for books—e-commerce would probably look vastly different than it does today.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2022/10/12/3-simple-tips-for-expanding-your-business-into-a-new-market/

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